Mom Says Uber Driver|Molested Her Daughter

     (CN) – A Virginia mother claims in a lawsuit that her 13-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver whom she’d previously complained about due to his inappropriate behavior.
     In a complaint filed in Virginia Beach, Va., the unidentified mother says her daughter downloaded the Uber app to her phone and frequently used it to request rides from her middle school.
     On 10 to 20 occasions, the complaint says, the driver who arrived to pick the woman’s daughter up was Isagini Morin whose “sexually inappropriate behavior made Child Doe uncomfortable.”
     Among the things Morin is alleged to have said to the girl is “Can I buy you a pair of panties for your birthday?” “What days does your mom work and when is she not at home?” and “Age doesn’t matter is two people are in a relationship.”
     Child Does responded by using the Uber app to give Morin a low rating in the hope the ride service would send an alternate driver to drive her back and forth between her home and school, the complaint says.
     Despite her complaints, the service continued to send Morin to pick the child up, the girl’s mother says.
     Then, on Nov. 7, 2014, “while providing Child Doe an Uber ride, during the course of his employment and while acting within the scope of his employment with Uber, Morin reached backward between the seats and rubbed Child Doe’s inner thigh and asked Child Doe if her mother was home,” the complaint says.
     ” Upon arriving home Child Doe ran into the house crying hysterically. Jane Doe called the Virginia Beach Police Department and reported the assault on her daughter,” the complaint continues.
     Jane Doe claims that Uber’s unique hiring system — allowing average citizens to use their personal vehicles to transport customers — and its alleged lenience on background checks, puts potential customers like her daughter at risk for assault.
     She says if Uber had exercised even a modicum of due diligence, it would have discovered Morin had been previously been charged with and found guilty of driving under the influence, speeding, reckless driving, and failure to yield when entering a highway.
     Jane Doe also says Uber failed to comply with a state requirement that Uber drivers immediately notify the company if they are charged with a driving offense or a crime that would require a sexual offender registration. She says the company failed to do this, even as it held itself out as being in compliance with the requirement on its website.
     Doe says the alleged assault and sexual harassment by Morin has left her daughter withdrawn; skeptical of adults and men; fearful of being alone or with strangers; and paranoid about running into Morin in public.
     The mother and daughter are seeking $2 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages on claims of assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and negligence hiring and retention.
     They are represented by Jeremiah Denton and Rhiannon Jordan of Virginia Beach, Va.
     Representatives of Uber did not immediately respond to a request from Courthouse News for comment.

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